When the NBA announced the results from its first round of COVID-19 testing after having players come back into their home markets, there were 48 positive tests out of 546 administered tests, making the positivity rate 8.8 percent, which, while high, was somewhat expected. The true test of the NBA’s plan was going to be how they progressed as training camp and the preseason began, to see if their protocols were working.
Thus far, that appears to be the case as they’ve seen just one positive test out of 549 tests administered since December 10, a precipitous drop-off and an indication that things are at least going as planned early on.
The NBA returns only one positive coronavirus test out of 549 players tested since Dec. 10: pic.twitter.com/xYStnZvYGg
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) December 16, 2020
Of course it should be noted that this is not reason for a victory lap but instead simply a very good first step of many to getting this season going and, hopefully, completed without too many postponements. NFL teams had similar success early on in their testing, but as the season wore on and there was more travel and players were being asked to remain vigilant for longer, more and more positives have emerged. The NBA has to anticipate positive tests happening once the season starts, and it’s why they’ve released only the first half of their schedule to allow for them to reschedule postponements into the second half slate.
So far, though, this is a good start and hopefully players and staffers will be able to continue to produce negative tests and allow this season to progress without too many hiccups.